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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sycamore Street

This Sunday we observe All Saints Sunday but if we remained on the ordinary cycle of readings we would encounter the story of the tax collector Zaccheus who, tradition has it, climbed a sycamore tree the better to see Jesus amidst the crowd.  An extraordinary story about a dodgy character making good and, at the same time as many churches (including this Cathedral) prepare stewardship drives and draft budgets for the coming year, Thom Schuman came up with this reflection - he does this kind of thing rather well.

sycamore street

when the ragtagged fellow
         came by with his
         empty cup held out,
   looking for a cool drink
   on the hottest day of the year,
               i turned on
               the hose very slowly
      so he could get
      a few drips;

walking by the volunteer
         standing by the red kettle
         and ringing the handbell,
   i reached in my pocket
   and dropped a shiny coin
      listening as it clinked
      against the other change;

as the plate
               passes
      down the pew
      toward me, i pull
   out my wallet
         and pour
         a wee dram
            for God;

a drip
      a drop
            a dram
   a dollop of generosity
   here and there . . .

if i'm not careful
all my possessions
will dribble away
                 and i'll end up
                 like poor Zach
   down the street.

(c) 2013 Thom M. Shuman
Interim Pastor

Immanuel Presbyterian Church, Cincinnati, OH Associate Member, Iona Community



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